Education, in every sense of the word begins at home. Home is where we learn our first words, it is where we find our identity, it should also be where we learn the rudiments of managing and growing money. While our children might learn high level accounting in the walls of Ivy league schools or discover the tenets of business management as graduate trainees, it might be detrimental to wait till then to introduce them to the realities of financial responsibility. Especially if we desire to successfully prepare them for the legacy we are building for them.
Financial literacy refers to the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with their financial resources. It is hence not enough to provide the resources, we must also teach our offspring to be masters of money. Our forefathers got it right to some extent, they taught us to save in the clay or wooden piggy banks we grew to cherish, we must however take it a step further. Not only must our children learn to save, they must learn to invest. Gone are the days when a good job or business and hard work was enough to cater to our needs. The successful ones today are those who have learnt not just to work to make money, but to make money work for them.
While it is essential that we provide for our children as much as we can, it is also important that they learn to grow what they have into more.
It begins with setting financial goals. Our children need to learn the discipline of setting targets and meeting them. Together, pinpoint an item or experience they desire, evaluate its cost, and agree on a timeframe to raise the amount needed. With the help of investment calculators, you can figure exactly how much must be set aside monthly or weekly and make a commitment towards it. This will give the child a sense of purpose.
Bank vs Mutual Fund..
Of course, financial freedom begins with the discipline of consistent saving. What makes the big difference is how the saving is done. While your children will learn that they can preserve their money in a bank, it is even more exciting to watch their money grow in a mutual fund. Mutual funds like the ARM Money Market Fund offer competitive interest rates without any risk to the capital. You can open a Money Market Fund investment for your child with as little as 5000 Naira. From the comfort of his or her phone, your child can top up that investment with the agreed sum to be saved or even the extra change left from his/her weekly allowance. Together you can access their dashboard on the ARM Wealth planner and view the amount invested so far and accrued interests. When the target is met, the funds can be redeemed online from the same Wealth Planner portal.
Long term investments…
While mutual funds can cater to short term financial goals, children need to learn the wisdom of identifying and maximising investment opportunities. After mastering the art of consistent investing, they must learn not to expend the accumulated resources on immediate wants but to tie down funds in instruments that can become assets. From the comfort of your home, you can help your child purchase shares, stocks, or even bonds from the ARM Stocktrade portal. With the avalanche of research and market insight available on the portal, you can teach him/her to recognise opportunities and trade successfully in the stock market. Especially at special periods like birthdays and celebratory seasons when children receive financial windfall, such monies can be invested in financial instruments and your child can monitor the growth of their investment online. This supersedes merely buying shares in their name.
Once they have mastered the discipline of consistent investment early in life, say from their teenage years, they will find it extremely easy to grow their finances as they advance in life. A child educated financially will understand the need to open a Pensions account from his very first job. He will also be able to understand the many benefits of Insurance and estate planning, thus preparing for a life of financial freedom and success in every facet of life. Financial education is indeed the link between a dependent child and an independent financially free adult.
Investment calculators as well as explicit information regarding mutual funds, stocks, bonds, estate planning, pensions, and insurance are available on the ARM WebShop. Visit www.arminvestmentcenter.com to explore the possibilities.